Fangraphs: Wheeler’s Shoulder, Walk Rates Concerning

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Jeff Zimmerman of Fangraphs offered a somewhat pessimistic outlook on Zack Wheeler and his upcoming 2014 season.

Zimmerman cites two major factors that he believes could significantly limit Wheeler’s success: his walk rate, and his shoulder tightness that forced him to miss his final start last year. Wheeler’s walk rate in 2013 was 4.1, a figure Zimmerman believes needs to drop roughly 25% for the Mets star prospect to remain a solid major league pitcher.

As for the injury, Zimmerman cites the fact that the 23-year old experienced shoulder tightness after only pitching in nine more innings from ’12 to ’13. Zimmerman went on to say that he believes 180 innings is a max for Wheeler and that an ERA in the range of 4.00 is about right.

You can look at the full article for yourself here, however I see the walks as more of a concern than his shoulder. Wheeler’s command has been an on-and-off problem since he was drafted by the Giants. Over his two-and-change seasons in the Mets organization, his walk rates had lowered substantially in comparison to those when he was with San Francisco before getting the call to the show.

That said, I thought this was a bit too critical for a pitcher who has only half of a season in the majors under his belt. Granted that Wheeler didn’t blow the doors off the competition like Matt Harvey did when he came up guns-blazing in 2012, however Wheeler did show some stretches of being an above average starter at the major league level. There were a half dozen starts where he absolutely dominated.

So long as he keeps the walks in check, there is little stopping Wheeler from taking the National League by storm and I’m expecting him to deliver a solid season in 2014, just wait and see.

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About Clayton Collier 388 Articles
Clayton Collier, a senior editor for MMO, is a Journalism major with a minor in Broadcasting at Seton Hall University. He is also a staff member at 89.5 WSOU, Seton Hall's modern active rock radio station. Following him on Twitter: @Clayton_Collier or E-maili him at MaybeNextYearMets@yahoo.com
  • Pike Miazza
  • Hotstreak

    Harvey first year 3.9 walk rate Wheeler 4.1. The inverted “W” worries me more.

  • mitchpetanick

    I read this earlier and the shoulder being sore twice in one season is more alarming than the walks. The analysis in that article has to be taken with a grain of salt because it was written with regards to fantasy baseball.

  • BCleveland3381

    Im sick of the injury “concerns” about pitchers. Matt Harvey had none. People wanted to shut him down because we were losing, but he was a work horse. He was lights out and then BOOM. Out for an entire year. Nobody has any idea what pitchers are going to have injury problems and which ones won’t. Remember Mark Pryor? The guy was supposed have the perfect delivery. I don’t know of any pitcher with more debilitating injuries than he had. Injuries destroyed his career. Plenty of young pitchers get sore or tight at the end of the year when they’ve never thrown a high amount of innings.

    I don’t buy into anyone having any idea how to keep pitchers more healthy or gauging which pitchers have a better chance of getting hurt than other pitchers. Every pitcher is a crapshoot.

  • There’s more than enough pessimism to go around, and I refuse to buy into it with every player. Wheeler’s going to be just fine.

  • Metropolitan

    Wheeler Montero or Syndergaard have to be traded we can’t kid ourselves all 3 of them are not gonna pan out and the Mets need sluggers I believe one of them would have been already if not for Harvey’s injury.

  • JimmyBX

    Wheeler should be moved before Montero and Syndergaard. That’s all I’m saying.

  • Psinap1

    Why you don’t remember generation K? Oh wait…

  • Run Support Group

    I ‘d rather move Montero than either

  • Waz0787

    Let’s not forget if they do pan out. There is no way wilpons can’t afford to pay all three of them.

  • Run Support Group

    Hopefully by the time they need a new contract the ‘Ponzis have sold the team

  • Joey D.

    I am not a fan of the inverted W for the potential it has to add to the possibility all pitchers face when going out to the mound.

    But the problem goes beyond that. Pitch counts, innings limitations are not going to help sustain many of today’s young pitchers in the long term. But there is something else that could.

    Ever ask why pitchers from decades ago were able to routinely pitch 250 innings or more season after season effectively and on three days rest instead of four? Or why a 40 year old Warren Spahn could go 16 innings against a Juan Marichal back in 1963? Or why a Sandy Koufax with an arthritic elbow could come back on two days rest to pitch game seven of the 1965 world series and shut out the Minnesota Twins of Killebrew, Oliva, Versialles, Battey, Allison, and Mincher? Why? It was because they all threw from the now lost art of the full windup which created a natural forward momentum of the body that placed little strain on the shoulders and arms as the no windup delivery does today.

    That point is brought up in the attached article written a few years back when Stausberg and Chamberlain were recovering from Tommy John surgery. Yes, the ball can be thrown in ways that could not be with the windup but as the article asks, are all those pitches necessary?

    Again, I think one should look into the lost art of the windup rather than pitch counts and innings pitched if they are really concerned about saving one’s arm and keeping it strong throughout the season.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2011/06/the-pitching-technique-thats-threatening-baseballs-young-phenoms/240351/

  • willywater88

    He looked very hittable last season and I was not impressed at all. I believe he got several ground ball double plays to end innings and avoid jams.

    Wheeler can very well improve but he will have to pitch in the shadow of Harvey’s 2013 season. Let’s see what he is made of.

  • willywater88

    He might have the lowest ceiling of the three but I like Montero’s control and finesses to add variation to the rotation that will feature 2-3 power arms in 2015.

  • Bail4Nails

    I worry about Montero’s windup more than Wheeler. Scouts put him higher than DeGrom, but DeGrom is doing all this good pitching AFTER Tommy John surgery. I think he’s the keeper of the 2, though nobody agrees with me.

  • KennyandtheMets

    Well, if one of them is traded for a big bat, that big bat has to be paid too.

  • KennyandtheMets

    Certainly before Syndergaard. I think Thor will be co aces with Harvey in a couple if years. If we can get a legit slugger for a package with Wheeler as the centerpiece, it could really help this team.

  • KennyandtheMets

    I don’t mind down votes, but tell me why.

  • KennyandtheMets

    Wheeler, Ike, and den Dekker for Carlos Gonzalez.

  • KennyandtheMets

    Ron Darling pointed out that Wheeler might end up being more of a ground ball pitcher than a strike out guy. He has a natural sink on the fastball.

  • DrDooby

    This. Pitching is detrimental to your health.
    Pitchers with perfect mechanics blow out their elbows or shoulders while others with questionable mechanics average 200 innings per year for over a decade. And vice versa. The key is having depth. The Mets right now have 4 or 5 high-end young arms at the same time which is highly unusual and very promising:
    Harvey – Wheeler – Syndergaard – Mejia – Montero. Not all of them will reach or consistently perform at their ceilings. But if 2 of the 5 turn into studs, another 2 of the 5 are on & off with heavy fluctuations (think Josh Johnson) or mediocre results (think Mike Pelfrey) and one is a bust (think Grant Roberts / Phil Humber) that´s a great outcome and should set the Mets up very well over the next 5 to 7 years.
    Wheeler showed a lot of in-season improvement last year and his projection looks like something between Matt Cain & AJ Burnett, certainly a frontline SP – but probably one notch below true “ace” level. Which is perfectly fine as this type of SP is making 17 to 22 million per year on the open market these days…

  • DrDooby

    The majority of major league pitchers experience soreness in their elbow and shouders EVERY year. They just don´t talk about it and get a cortison shot here and there. Lots of them are pitching through small tears here & there. Heck, Dillon Gee has been pitching through a partial labrum tear, Niese through a partial rotator cuff tear and Mejia pitched through bone chips in the elbow briefly. Odds are that the majority of any 5 MLB SP will be on the DL for an extended stretch at some point over the next 3 years are very high. That includes the current Mets staff.
    Mat Latos whose career I´ve followed very closely has been battling an occasional cranky shoulder every year for 5 years now, yet has managed to avoid any lengthy DL stint for now and besides missing a start here & there has been just fine. .

  • diehardmets

    It’s worth noting this article was written from a fantasy baseball perspective, not a real world one. The pessimism of the article points more to Wheeler being overdrafted in fantasy leagues due to overhype rather than on his future potential.

  • Destry

    Ike doesn’t have any trade value. Especially for Colorado since they just signed Morneau to a 2 year deal. Morneau isn’t any good either, but they’re not gonna pay two below average LH 1B to be on the roster. So it’s essentially Wheeler & den Dekker for Cargo, and I’m not sure that’s enough. I like Cargo, but I don’t love his Home/Away splits. Yes, they were not nearly as bad in 2013, but every other year he has been terrible on the road.

  • Destry

    That makes sense. Scouts have raved about his stuff, and his easy delivery. I’ve always heard/read that he has really good mechanics, and isn’t seen as a future wounded warrior. “He makes throwing 95 look easy” is a quote I will always remember from a scout talking about Wheeler.

  • Destry

    deGrom didn’t pitch all that well at any level last season. I still don’t understand the hype he is getting. He is headed for the bullpen before 2014 is over. I could be wrong.

  • Destry

    Pitchers are time bombs. The Rays know how to develop, utilize, and then maximize return with their pitchers. In all honesty, I would never sign a pitcher for more than 3 year. Insurance companies won’t even cover the contracts of pitchers after year 3 of the deal.

    Think about this for a second. If Harvey returns healthy in 2015, he will make league minimum before he is arb eligible for the 1st of 3 times going into the 2016 offseason. If he performs like he did in 2013, he will most likely get $8-$10mil in arb. If we keep him for the 2016 season, and then trade him in the offseason, just imagine the return we would get for him. He would be under team control for 2 years. If we try to resign him, he will most likely want a 10yr/$250mil deal.

    So what would be better? Sign him for a ridiculous extension, that will take up 1/4 of the payroll, and keep us from signing other players, and probably extensions to Wheeler, Thor etc. or get a young stud hitter making league minimum for 2 or 3 years, a young stud SP at league minimum, and a least one more good prospect, + having the $25 mil we would’ve given Harvey to add pieces in Free Agency.

    I say we trade Harvey after his 1st year of Arb, and get a nice haul. Trade Wheeler the following year, and Thor the next. Reload with young studs for 3 years in a row to set up another 5 years of contending with all of your money available to spend as necessary.

    Honestly, we could trade Colon at the deadline this year when Thor and Montero come up. Gee in the offseason. Harvey after 2015 season. Wheeler after 2016 season. Thor after 2017 season. Think of all the talent we would bring into the organization, and we would have our entire payroll to spend.

  • pastline63

    The Giants traded him to the Mets as a calculated risk. They wanted a impact hitter for the a playoff push the combination of Beltran ‘s contract expiring, and the Mets need to get something for him made Wheeler available. The Giants wanted a lot he was their top pitching prospect-Beltran was worth the gamble being the Giants organization wanted to win something the Mets seem very forgetful of. In the mindset of winning you take a gamble. Trust me many other teams wanted Wheeler we for the 1st time in ages made the preemptive strike for him.

  • Destry

    Yep. That is correct. The Giants were peddling Gary Brown, and we smuggled Zack Wheeler. What a horrible trade for the Giants. The won the WS the following year, with their pitching and no Beltran.

  • pastline63

    You never know how a trade can go, the Giants thought Beltran would sign with them-He did not (Boras), but the still had pitching in the tank for the drive.

  • pastline63

    There is so many factors in a Pitcher’s health as far as his arm goes. Many theories from was he throwing a curve ball at a young age before he had muscle development. To did he lift too much weights or not enough-It’s all open to debate, but very few pitchers even since the dawn of Baseball have gone without injury of some sort, it’s also luck of the draw.

  • JimmyBX

    Giants also knew he was never going to be an ace, because of his control issues. They knew what they were doing. If the Mets had any common sense, they package this kid for a stud SS prospect

  • JimmyBX

    Nah, that package for the Carlos Correa or Javier Baez. CarGo is always injured.

  • pastline63

    They may still use him in a trade for a SS stud or an OF stud time will tell, but the right players need to be part of the deal.

  • JimmyBX

    Montero throws mid 90’s without the control issues. Wheeler is beneath Montero on a talent level. When you can put the ball wherever you want, you have a chance to dominate. Montero is Dillon Gee with a much better fastball and change up.

  • pastline63

    Your right the Hitter, if a true hitter will want over 18 ml that’s going rate for a big bat. Actually more when they are established.

  • JimmyBX

    Correction. Harvey’s first FULL YEAR he was 1.6 walks per 9. This desperation to compare Wheeler to Harvey is sad. Wheeler will NEVER be as good as Harvey. To make excuses for Wheeler by comparing his walk totals to one of the best young pitchers in the game is nonsense.

  • JimmyBX

    Get me Correa or Baez and I’m a happy camper.

  • pastline63

    Got to let time run on this one, understand your point, but the front office may want Braun, or McCutchen , or someone else time will tell.

  • Nolrog

    IMO, it’s more likely that Alderson would trade one for a bunch of prospects than a ML big bat.

  • JustSomeInternetGuyYouDontKnow

    Basically calling him Strasburg. Well that’s not a bad pitcher to compare him to but yeah there is a ceiling if that’s the case.

  • Destry

    Yeah. Cain & Lincecum were both dynamite that year.

  • Nolrog

    His girlfriend goes to Michigan?

  • Nolrog

    With this defense, that’s horrifying.

  • Destry

    Well, it depends on how you look at it. I think you have to wait till 2014 is completed. If Wheeler completes a full season, injury free and really good, you would have to say he is ahead of where Harvey is/was at the same points in their careers. We have to remember that Harvey is 12-10 2.39 ERA thus far, but he has only made 36 starts and thrown 237 2/3 innings. It remains to be seen if his arm can hold up while pitching at a high level.

    If Wheeler manages 200 innings this season and is really good but not as good as Harvey was last season, I might be inclined to give the nod to Wheeler at he will have pitched 300 innings. The additional 60ish innings that Wheeler will have pitched cannot be discounted. Even if he throws 180 IPs next season he would still have thrown 40ish innings more than Harvey. That’s 20% of a full season’s workload for a SP.

  • Destry

    All the more reason to sign Stephen Drew

  • Captain America

    NO

  • Captain America

    Trade Montero

  • KennyandtheMets

    I also looked at Cargo’s games played. He has only played 145 games once in a season. His other seasons were way shorter. Also, he only has one 30/100 season. That, along with his inflated Coors Field numbers, make me think that package might be enough.

  • KennyandtheMets

    Cargo’s injury history is a problem. You have a point. But you think Wheeler is overrated, so would it be that much of a risk?

  • KennyandtheMets

    Exactly.

  • KennyandtheMets

    Lol. Well, if we got Drew, the left side would be good enough. We could also improve the right side by moving EY2 to 2B and Murphy to 1B. None of the guys we have are great defenders at 1B. Ike is the best of a weak group, and he will probably be gone. Wright, Drew, EY2, and Murphy isn’t terrible. EY2 has to have much better range than Murphy and 2B is his natural position.

  • METS62FAN

    DESTRY, ARE U STILL RIDING? U ALL KNOW MW AS A GRAYBEARDED OLD SCHOOLER WITH LITTLE RESPECT FOR SABREMETRICAL ASSESSMENTS AND EVEN LESS FOR FANTASY WORLD CONCLUSIONS.
    BECAUSE OF THAT, I MUST UNFORTUNATELY ADMIT TO LOSING ALL RESPECT FOR THIS SOCALLED, SELF-PROCLAIMED “EXPERT” ZIMMERMAN THE MOMENT HE3 FOCUSED UPIOB FANTASY VALUE OF WHEELER LONG BREFORE MENTIONING REAL VALUES.

    I MUST FREELY ADMIT TO HAVING ONCE OR TWICE ATTEMPTED FANTASY BASEBALL AS A SIDEBAR IN MY BASEBALL ROOTING LIFESTYLE

    BTW, I ABJECTEDLY FAILED MIOSERABLY NOT ONLY AS A FANTASY GM; BUT ALSO AS A FANTASY TEAM ROOTER SIMPLE BECAUSE I CAN NOT CONCEIVE OF ANY UNIVERSE WHERE I WOULD ACTUALLY HOPE FOR ANY OPPOSING PLAYER TO EXPERIENCE ANT MEASURABLE SUCCESS IN ANY ACTIVITY THAT MAY HURT OR HINDER THE ASPIRATIONS OF MY METSIES. SO, IN MY REAL WORLD EVERY SINGLE OPPOSING HITTER SHOULD GO 0’fer THE SEASON WHEN UP AGAINST MY FLUSHING FIGHTERS REGARDLESS OF THEIR EXISTENCE ON MY FANTASY ROSTER.

    IN READING ZIMMERMAN’S CONJECTURE I COULDN’T HELP WONDER WHAT HIS ASSESSMENT WOULD’VE BEEN REGARDING A SIMILARLY EXPERIENCED NOLAN RYAN, BLISTERS, “WILD AS A MAD HATTER” CONTROL AND ALL.

    CAN ANYONE PLEASE EXPLAIN TO ME WHAT RATIONALE & CREDENTIALS BESTOW UPON THIS GUY ZIIMMERMAN THAT MAKES HIS OPINION MORE VALUABLE THAN JOE SCHMO’s
    .

  • KennyandtheMets

    I doubt McCutheon is going anywhere. The Pirates are building a nice young team. He is the centerpiece.

  • MLBGM Fire TC

    cargos injuries are not an issue. Every injury he has is from either crashing into a wall or hit by pitch etc. I personally don’t think its his body that is failing its more “freek” plays. Im a huge cargo fan and while the season is on follow him every game, simply cause hes on my fantasy team, lol. The guy is a beast, and when he plays a full season easily an MVP. A guy who can hit 30 hr, 300 BA and swipe 20 plus bases, not to mention very good in the OF.

    I would of thought thata package of wheeler, Ike and Matz would of been perfect for COL but they just signed Morneau.

    Very possible to now offer, Wheeler, Matz and murphy instead, as they do need a 2B in Col as well as pitching.

  • MLBGM Fire TC

    His injuries were more do to crashing into walls / hit by pitches not his body breaking down. I think he will be fine.

  • MLBGM Fire TC

    And we can package a deal around him and land a good hitter as hes still a top trade piece. I have been hoping for wheeler to be traded all last year. Damn I was hoping for Justin upton, maybe now either Stanton or cargo. Would have to add 2-3 more guys in it.

  • MLBGM Fire TC

    Agree -I think Syndergaard is going to be an ace

  • MLBGM Fire TC

    Payed yes, that’s why we hold the 10 or so mill in our pocket and not give it to drew, who really isn’t worth it. With drews 10 mill, and Young’s 7 coming off next year we have 17 right there that’s a good start at filling RF.

  • MLBGM Fire TC

    that would just push back our time frame for contending

  • Biggle Boy

    Mr. 62, I don’t know about Zimmerman’s credentials, either. But I don’t think Wheeler’s walks are a big issue. And he’s still developing his craft. Regarding Wheeler’s shoulder stiffness, all I can say is the old axioim that you can never have enough pitching. With Niese, Gee, Wheeler, Colon, and then Thor, Montero, Mejia, and Harvey coming back in 2015, it looks like we’re doing the right thing with the mound corps.

  • KennyandtheMets

    We will see. He has never played a 150 game season.

  • KennyandtheMets

    Who are the FAs in 2015, as far as corner OFers go?

  • KennyandtheMets

    I think Murphy is a great fit for the Rockies. His ability to drive the ball to all fields would play very well there. Cargo is fun to watch. He is a great athlete with a beautifully fluid swing. You may be right about his injuries being freak injuries, but he has only hit 30 HRs once so far in his career.

  • KennyandtheMets

    Better fastball than Gee for sure. Better changup, I’ll need to see that when he throws it to ML hitters. Gee’s change up can be pretty nasty.

  • MLBGM Fire TC

    there are no good FA in 2015, im saying if we added payroll through a trade, like cargo, OR if we got Stanton and gave him an extension. That’s the main issue a good player will have to come through a trade.

    in 2015 there are a few ss, including hanily but doubtful that we get him. As far as top players, in 2016 there is a few, Chris davis, Miguel Cabrera
    , Justin Upton, and its doubtful that they all wont get extensions from their current teams. A trade it probably the best way. Cargos contract is actually pretty cheep, given his talent

  • Taskmaster4450

    Typical Met fans on here…giving up on everyone.

    To start, people need to cool it with the Harvey talk. He is out 2014 and there is no guarantee what his 2015 will look like. TJ surgery often is a 2 year process before a player is back to what he was before it.

    As for Wheeler and his walk rate, look at guys like Ryan and Koufax. Each of them had higher walk rates than Wheeler and for a long period of time. Ryan went a decade with a walk rate above 4.1 (Wheeler’s 2013 BB rate) and Koufax 5 or 6 years. Did anyone foresee them as aces let alone HOF pitchers. Now I am not saying that Wheeler will follow in their path but let us not discount him because he simply has some control issues at this time. Sure he needs to harness it by gaining some control. However, we are already seeing some improvement. He started his minor league career at 5.8 and was at 4.4 in 2012. 2013 saw 3.5 in Vegas and 4.1 in the big leagues. The number is going in the right direction.

    And one other thing, people mention the strikeouts versus being a groundball pitcher. The most effective pitchers are able to get the strikeout when they need it. So while Wheeler might not be one to put up 10 Ks a game consistently, will he be a pitcher that can “reach back” and get it when he needs it? That will be one of the major determining factors.

  • KennyandtheMets

    Why?

  • MLBGM Fire TC

    very true but look at his AB, last year he hit 26 in only 391 ab, the year before he only hit 22 BUT he had a bad finger about half the season fron getting hit by a pitch, that he played through, his OBP is also very good. Just have to keep him from crashing into OF walls trying to make catches, lol

  • KennyandtheMets

    If he is predominantly a ground ball pitcher, that’s not a bad thing. As long as his walk rate continues to improve. As long as this team improves its infield defense.

  • Taskmaster4450

    One other thing about the walk rate….Harvey in 2012 was 3.9 at Vegas and 3.9 with the Mets compared with Wheeler’s 3.5 and 4.1.

  • KennyandtheMets

    I’d love to see Cargo in the orange and blue!! I just can’t help worrying about his durability. This is our Metsies after all. You know how cursed we are when it comes to injuries.

  • MLBGM Fire TC

    the way I see it….Trading a prospect for an already established star makes perfect sense. Lets say trading wheeler matz and murphy can land cargo. OK, so we just got a guy who can hit 30 hr, 300 and has spees and can play great OF. For a guy who may not pan out, a 2b who is what he is, pretty good, and a kid 3 years away.
    Look at it like this, I wonder what we could of got for paul willson when he was in AAA. Sure you cant have enough young pitchers BUT we have quite a few, and we have no hitters, we just need to have a more well rounded team by adding some hitting and giving up some pitching.
    Jesh, if we traded, Wheeler, Murphy, and matz for cargo. Our rotation would look like this in 2015
    Harvey – Synderguard – Montero – Mejia – Niese – Gee – Colon (2015 last year) – and still coming are, mazzoni, fulmer, yona etc.

  • KennyandtheMets

    Cargo’s contract is pretty team friendly. He is signed for the next 4 years, 10 mil in 2014, building up to 20 mil in 2017. That’s really not bad, as long as he avoids running into those walls!! Lol….

  • KennyandtheMets

    I’m down with that, although we really don’t know how good Wheeler will be. Do the Rockies have a young SS prospect being blocked by Tulo? I’d be willing to give up a 4th player to get a SS back in that deal. Maybe Wheeler, Murphy, Matz, den Dekker for Cargo and a Young SS. We have no depth at the SS position in the organization.

  • MLBGM Fire TC

    Rosell Herrera – but some feel he will have to play 3b, im not too sure about that. But hes only 20, so who knows.

  • Fast Eddie

    The only real issue that I can see with Zack Wheeler last year was that he came up in Matt Harvey’s shadow. Most of us got a bit spoiled by Harvey’s greatness and we kind of expected Wheels to have similar success especially since we heard so many good things about him ever since he was traded for Carlos Beltran. If none of us had ever seen Matt Harvey pitch I think we would of been ecstatic and not just pleased with the half season Zack Wheeler gave us. Yeah, he was a bit wild at times, but I didn’t see anything to be alarmed about. I think he will fit in our rotation very nicely as a SOLID number two or number three starter for years to come. He’s also very lanky and will probably add 15 or 20 pounds to his frame in the next couple years which may add to his velocity which is already very good. What I would like to see from Wheeler is a little more of a consistent delivery and a little more killer instinct up there on the mound. Other than that, I think we got ourselves keeper…and we’ve got more young guns on the way. If, yes IF we can get this cheap organization to just add a power bat or two, we could be a playoff contender sooner than later.

  • KennyandtheMets

    I’ll check out Herrera’s numbers.

  • LIKayLGM

    Someone posted about Harvey’s first full year walk ration numbers and Harvey hasn’t had a first FULL YEAR. Neither pitcher has,
    and I agree about desperation about comparing the two. What
    is further desperate is some are declaring Wheeler will never be as good as
    Harvey or start with the “people are making excuses”. Far too early to
    tell, and wouldn’t it be in the best interest of METS fans to hope they
    are both pretty comparable and the best of the best? Why do Mets fans
    argue that one of their own is not GOING TO BE as good as another?

  • DrDooby

    Considering that Harvey underwent the surgery in October 2013,he should be fully ready by spring training 2015. Usually it takes 12 to 15 months to be fully recovered.

    Harvey could even possibly rush back to be ready by late September / early October 2014 if needed though that would certainly not be smart at all. Imagine the crowd reaction though if the Mets reach the Wild Card game, it’s played at CitField and Matt Harvey enters the game in the 7th inning of a 3-3 tie…

  • BehindTheBag

    Yikes, how did this become a “Dump Wheeler” thread. Guy’s got a lot of potential, a rocket arm, one of the best fastballs in the NL. If we’re going to trade a pitcher if the right deal came along, trade Montero.

  • DrDooby

    By 2016/2017 the Mets will hopefully be in a position where they’ll easily be able to sport a 150 million payroll again and are drawing close to 3 million people again.
    Harvey will be a free agent after 2018. That’s still a long way off. And if the Mets are legit contenders in 2016 /2017 and Harvey is anchoring a strong rotation, I don’t think you can and should trade him…

  • WillisReid

    If he pitches well enough to hold down one of 5 spots in the rotation, it’s still a win.

  • Hotstreak

    I am talking about debut year. Wheeler debuted father’s day. Harvey the year before around July 25th or thereabouts..

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/h/harvema01.shtml

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/w/wheelza01.shtml

    No doubt Harvey is the better pitcher BUT we are talking about walk rate in DEBUT YEAR ONLY.

  • diehardmets

    The article was written for Rotographs, the fantasy side of Fangraphs. There’s no reason to mention real value, he’s writing a fantasy baseball strategy piece.

  • Matt Mosher

    All pitchers are risks. I wouldn’t trade Wheeler for anything.

  • Taskmaster4450

    Actually, Dr, it takes that long to recover but another 12 months is common for a pitcher to get the strength back in his arm.

    My point is that expecting Harvey in 2015 to be like the Harvey in 2013, pre injury, is most likely unrealistic. It could happen but I would look towards 2016 before he is back to full ability.

  • JimmyBX

    You’re insane. Montero is WAY more polished than Wheeler will ever be. Wheeler can only DREAM about throwing 3 straight offspeed pitches on the black consistently like Montero is able to.

    If you took both of these guys aside and had them play catch with the catcher throwing nothing but max breaking balls/offspeeds, Wheeler would miss the strike zone half the time. Montero would miss 2 out of 10. That’s how many levels above Wheeler Montero is in terms of control.

  • JimmyBX

    Velocity isn’t Wheeler’s problem. He doesn’t know where his pitches are going when he’s in the stretch.

  • JimmyBX

    lmfao typical fan. Comparing his guy to Hall of Famers. Why does Wheeler receive this kind of support? What has he done to merit such expectations?

    Shouldn’t a pitcher DOMINATE the minors before he’s tagged as a possible ace?

    Control is what separates the aces from the average pitcher. Wheeler doesn’t have it. That’s why he’s not an ace and won’t be like I predicted the day this trade was made. Syndergaard and Montero are both superior by way of control. They both toss mid 90’s heat which is more than adequate.

  • JimmyBX

    lmfao @ comparing Wheeler to Harvey. Harvey’s minor league CAREER walks per nine was barely 3. Wheeler was a full walk GREATER.

    Harvey was bullsheeting in AAA. He knew it, so he wasn’t caring. He even admitted it. The only reason Harvey was in AAA was because of that idiotic free agent thingy. He was ready after AA for all intents and purposes.

    And his first FULL SEASON in the bigs proved it.

  • JimmyBX

    lmfao Strasburg….Wheeler could only CREAM about being as polished as Strasburg. SMH…Can Wheeler do what Maine did before we annoint this kid some STUD? How about that?

  • JimmyBX

    If you’re expecting Wheeler to be a #1 or #2, you BETTER worry about his walks. If your window for Wheeler is #3 or worse (which is what he really is), then the walks aren’t a big deal.

    Either way, he’s not a better pitcher than Montero or Syndergaard.

  • JimmyBX

    I think if there is value in trading Wheeler, it’s for a stud SS. The Mets SORELY need one after losing the best SS they’ve ever had. The Mets essentially lost 2 players when they lost Reyes.

    If someone is willing to trade a stud SS prospect for Wheeler, you make that move.

  • JimmyBX

    Dude, are you serious? Cargo has played 145 games in A season. He’s played over 125 games 3 of his 6 years.

    Sorry, but I love CarGo, but his propensity for injury should be of great concern to us.

  • JimmyBX

    The idea is to BEAT teams in a trade, not break even..lol.

  • Met Maniac

    Finally a friendly name from the old guard!!!!

  • JimmyBX

    Montero can spot offspeed pitches, Kenny. When you have talent like that, you’re going to dominate. Gee gets crushed by lefties because his change is average. Montero has plus control on his offspeed pitches.

    That’s why it’s insane to consider trading Montero

  • JimmyBX

    And quite frankly, our A ball staffs have a few excellent prospects in Lara, Matz, Miller and Ynoa. The depth is there to move a guy like Wheeler and not skip a beat.

  • JimmyBX

    deGrom throws hard. Why he’s receiving hype for being an average arm is also beyond me. I guess they want to build his trade value.

  • JimmyBX

    That’s convenient comparison to make Wheeler out to be better than he is…or hope he turns out better than he is.

  • JimmyBX

    Can Wheeler have a season like John Maine had in 2007 before we tag him an ace? There’s a better chance Godzilla is our opening day starter in 2015 before Wheeler pitches anywhere remotely close to how Harvey did this past season.

    You can toss around numbers until the cows come home, but it won’t matter. Wheeler needs to do what JOHN MAINE did first before we compare him to Harvey.

  • KennyandtheMets

    Lol. Honestly though Jimmy, I think Cargo would be a huge upgrade to the line up. He is a lot better than Murphy and we have the depth in pitching to absorb the loss of Wheeler.

  • Hotstreak

    JimmyBX

    Honestly (no sarcasm) I lost you. I do not understand “convenient comparison” do you think debut year only (as Wheeler only as a partial debut year as Harvey) is “valid comparison” or not?

    P.S I said Harvey hands down is the better pitcher so I do not know where you going. My point is Wheeler’s BB% can drop too.

  • JimmyBX

    It’s a worthless comparison. I’m not a Wheeler guy, so those stats to me are valueless. I will believe in Wheeler when he puts up a season like John Maine did in 2007. Let’s think small please. Everyone talks up Wheeler as if he’s some superstar pitcher in the making.

    I don’t see it.

  • BehindTheBag

    Hey Jimmy, you honestly think that in bullpen sessions, these guys can’t throw their breaking stuff for strikes?

  • JimmyBX

    Max breaking balls/offspeeds? No, Wheeler cannot.

  • Hotstreak

    I am responding to the thread.
    Here is the irony JimmyBX

    You know how I feel about ethnic issues and the media.
    You know I am critical of over-hype of DW
    You know how I feel about Minaya vs. SA

    Yet you response to me is as if I am one of the guys opposite of your opinions which are correct but too extreme.

    I more than anybody fear Wheeler’s Inverted “W” and have consistently said so.

  • KennyandtheMets

    I like Montero a lot, but I need to see that change up work at this level. I disagree with you about Gee’s change up. He owes any success he has to that pitch. It is his out pitch. When his mechanics are off, he hangs it and, yes, lefties crush it. When he is right though, that change up is a very tough pitch for any hitter, LH or RH to handle.

  • KennyandtheMets

    Agreed.

  • JimmyBX

    I think so as well, if the guy stays off the DL. I don’t see that coming from him. Some athletes simply aren’t made for the grind. There’s a huge risk that comes with a kid making the money he’s making.

  • JimmyBX

    Gee would be an ace if his offspeed worked against lefty bats. It doesn’t have the action necessary to make them tap it to 2nd or pop it up harmlessly somewhere. Montero, on the other hand, has that type of movement according to everyone watching him

  • JimmyBX

    This has nothing to do with non-baseball issues. I’ve followed ball for decades. One constant always remains about MLB aces. Most dominated the minors at some point. The thread points out Wheeler and walks. I’ve said it since Day 1 that Wheeler is a scatter arm righty who doesn’t know where his pitches are going.

    The inverted W is scary, but that doesn’t concern me more than his inability to throw strikes. To me, it’s all about Wheeler’s control or lack thereof. That’s why I believe he’s a #3 at best.

  • KennyandtheMets

    His contract isn’t bad at all for a guy with his talent. However, the durability issue is important as well.

  • pastline63

    Hopefully this is the type of staff Mets are forming.

  • KennyandtheMets

    I don’t think Gee’s change up is his problem. He doesn’t have a great fastball. If he did, the change would be that much more effective.

  • pastline63

    True but if one can be had as a stop gap till the Farm system can produce one and use him as a part of larger deal then by all means-by all means.

  • pastline63

    Pirates are a very strange natured team-you never know what they will do or what direction they will take. They were close a few years ago before McCutchen then traded many away. I agree I doubt he will be moved but if available you have to jump on that trade one way or another -he his a great fit for Citifield..

  • KennyandtheMets

    That guy is a great fit for ANY ballpark. The guy is a stud. I still can’t believe we picked Pelfrey ahead of him.

  • pastline63

    Do not rehash that memory -I still yell obscenities about that move.

  • JimmyBX

    He’s got 53 million coming to him in from 15-17..Three years ago, this was considered a huge contract. The way things are going now, this contract doesn’t seem nearly as bad.

  • Hotstreak

    More Glendon Rush than John Smoltz is that it?

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/s/smoltjo01.shtml

    Look at Smoltz walk ration his debut year. Inverted W EXCEPTION

  • JimmyBX

    Wellllllllllllll, I disagree. Rick Reed and Gee are the same. The difference between both and someone like Greg Maddux is Maddux’s offspeed against lefties fell off the table. Neither one of these cats can do it consistently. Tim Hudson is that guy as well. Low 90’s and his breaking ball to lefties gets them all the time. Gee throws hard enough. Against lefties however the offspeed isn’t sufficient.

  • JimmyBX

    See what Smoltz did in AAA? I look at Smoltz’ last year in the minors. He dominated AAA. That’s what I’m looking for from Wheeler. That’s more important than debut year stats IMO.

    Wheeler better turn out better than Rusch! lol…I couldn’t stand Rusch. Rusch was a #5…and barely that.

  • Destry

    Might be.

  • KennyandtheMets

    Sorry. My lips are sealed. :-/

  • KennyandtheMets

    Yep.

  • Destry

    We would still have Wheeler, Thor, Mejia, Montero + the prospects we get in return for Colon, Gee & Harvey. Matz & Fulmer could be ready by then also, and we wouldd have a ton of money to add whatever we were missing

  • Destry

    I agree with ya, but Harvey has basically pitched one full season. Hes not going to be able to throw 100mph and stay healthy for more than a full season. He will have to dial it back or its Josh Johnson type career

  • KennyandtheMets

    We will have to agree to disagree on this one Jimmy. Maddox might not have thrown his fastball in the mid 90s, but his ball had late movement. Rick Reed was called a poor mans Maddox because he threw that two seam fastball that starts at the hip of the LH hitter and breaks back over the inside corner.

  • Destry

    I hope Matz pans out. We could use two LHP in the rotation. Harvey, Wheeler, Niese, Thor Matz in 2016? That leaves Colon, Gee, Mejia Montero as surplus. Wow.

  • Destry

    Tabata, Marte, Polanco, Lambo + young stud OF as part of return for McClutch would still be a really good OF.

  • BehindTheBag

    I don’t see any teams itching to trade stars. I thought Milwaukee wanted to dump Braun…but instead they traded Aoki.

    Colorado has no interest in trading CarGo. Likewise Miami and Stanton.

    With all of the TV money, teams are holding on to their superstars, not trading them. The only superstar even somewhat on the block right now is David Price, a guy we don’t need. And that’s just because he’s only one season away from leaving in FA. Nobody else like that I can see.

    So I don’t think there’s a market for the kind of talent we’d need to bring back to justify trading Wheeler. So I for one am looking forward to seeing what a Harvey/Wheeler/Thor rotation can do in a full healthy season.

  • Biggle Boy

    First of all, I never said Wheeler was gonna be a #1 or #2. But beyond that, you’re such a baseball guru that you think you can actually claim that a pitcher who has pitched in the ML, with a 7&5 record and a 3.42 ERA over 100 ML innings, is worse than 2 guys who haven’t even made it past the minors? You BETTER wait until those 2 minor leaguers are facing ML bats before you tell anyone what they should worry about with Wheeler. smh

  • Just_Da_damaja

    For the record… I was the First one on this site to ever mention Wheeler’s inverted W

    #Toma

  • Just_Da_damaja

    …and if Montero was the one who threw 98 but was wild… and wheeler was the guy throwing 95 with pin point control and 2 off-speed pitches nailed down, most of these folks would be singing a different tune. Fact is, In terms of having a mix of speed and control, Montero might be the most polished pitcher we’ve had come up since Izzy + Paul Wilson

    Thor has the best fastball, still working on off-speed stuff

    Oliver Wheeler is great but inconsistent, we could have the next Tim Hudson or the next John Maine.

    So of course Montero is the one everyone wants to get rid of first

    #shocker

  • Just_Da_damaja

    When Mejia is wild, he’s a bum

    When Wheeler is wild, he’s compared to Nolan Ryan

    #Hypocrisosy

  • Name

    Then I’ll be the first to point out an inverted W is an M

  • Just_Da_damaja

    Good Pitching depends on good defense.

    If Wheeler is striking out the world, most times his pitch counts are way up, and he exits the game early.

    If these pitchers are trying to induce contact…he better pray the ball doesnt get hit to SS … or 2B…or 1B ( if Duda wins the starting job )

    also balls in the dirt may be an issue with travis behind the plate.

    also runners on 1st base might as well be on 2nd with Travis behind the dish.

    the mets are wasting money on colon and time with wheeler and the rest if they fail in putting together a solid defense in the infield…

  • Just_Da_damaja

    Nice Story on Baez I picked up

    http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/news/article/chc/every-day-with-sister-noely-is-special-for-chicago-cubs-player-javier-baez?ymd=20131223&content_id=66112700his

    This is the difference between a team like the cubs and the mets

    while the mets pretty much treat their lagares’s/Mejia’s/montero’s like invisible lawn mower men, the cubs do everything to pump up their baez’s and such.

    even after castro’s rape charge, u never saw the org with the new administration putting him down, they’ve pretty much kept ALL their issues in house.

    why DEVALUE your OWN prospects and players ?

    Only the mets, who have trouble ACQUIRING talent, go out of their way to devalue it based on where it was acquired and from whom.

    SMH

  • TJ

    JDD,
    Agree on the D, but lets wait and sew what happens before opening day. If Alderson manages to snag Drew at a decent price, the defense can quickly become a strength. An OF of Grandy-Lagares-C Young or even E Young-Lagares-Grandy may be the best defensive in MLB. DW and Drew would likely provide plus D on the left side of the infield. Yes, Murph and Duda would be weak, but Ike ain’t gone yet and if Murph is dealt EY Jr may only be league average but would be an upgrade over Murph. If they go with d”Arnaud-Centeno, or bring Centeno up early, that is a goos defensive tandem with premium D on days d’Arnaud doesn’t play. They still have a shot at fielding one of the best defensive teams in the NL, which should clearly help the pitching.

  • Taskmaster4450

    I guess reading really isnt your strong suit. Did you notice this line:

    “Now I am not saying that Wheeler will follow in their path…”

    I guess you either missed that part or chose to ignore it (most likely the later).

    As for your Nostradamous predictions, it was just shown some pitchers are wild and can still turn it around.

    By the way, did you notice Harvey’s BB rate in 2012 at both Vegas and with the Mets? Not much better than Wheeler’s.

  • R04

    Holy crap, this same thread thread had only 80 comments on metsblog. Props to MMO on capitalizing on their mistake. May you make loads and loads of money.

  • Connor O’Brien

    Using great pitchers to make a point is not the same as saying Wheeler will be as good as those pitchers.

  • Connor O’Brien

    Again, don’t know how you get a comparison out of that…

  • R04

    Why can’t you get your opinion in in a respectful manner? You bald headed freak criminal.

  • JustSomeInternetGuyYouDontKnow

    No one did. No one said he was polished or anything else. The reference was to the motion and possible inning ceiling. Thought that was obvious….

  • Wheeler will be fine. If he’s not, we will trade him for a SS on his potential alone. I am not worried. Either he’s awesome for us, or mediocre for someone else.

  • JimmyBX

    And we ALL know why Montero isn’t shown love by the usual suspects out here. If his name were Ralph Montgomery, “fughedaboutit” lol.

    I’m not even going there with these dudes. MB heads have already been schooled. Most of them don’t try to play that card with me. I was running roughshod on them long before MMO going back to the AOL days when I was called “Crew” lol

  • JimmyBX

    lol…There’s NOTHING to compare here. Harvey had nearly 30 starts and was absolutely DOMINANT until he was injured. Wheeler has not even dominated a MINOR LEAGUE SEASON much less one in the bigs. Like I said before, can we post a season like John Maine before we give this guy the tag of “ace”….SMH

  • JimmyBX

    It’s a worthless comparison and that’s the bottom line.

  • JimmyBX

    Talking back like a woman isn’t a good trait, Taskmonkey. Act like a man and you won’t be hammered. And YES I AM DISCOUNTING HIM AS AN ACE.

    Reading seems to be your problem, obviously. Too bad you can’t read into some pertinent facts regarding pitchers who DON’T dominate the minors not becoming aces in the bigs. Doesn’t take Nostradamus to figure that one out.

    WHEELER IS NO ACE AND WILL NEVER BE ONE.

    How’s that? He’s a #3 at best.

    Now shut up and please allow superior posters to operate, navigate and “conversate” on this IMPROVED version of MMO.

    #ClydeFrazierFan

  • JimmyBX

    Just two years ago, all we heard was WHEELER would be the ace of our staff….SMH. Meanwhile, the guy can’t throw 3 straight offspeed pitches for strikes if he tossed a remote controlled baseball…lmao

  • JimmyBX

    Nope! Leave my smooth bald head alone, punk lol

  • JimmyBX

    I didn’t see you post innings ceiling. Thought you were comparing skills.

  • JimmyBX

    And when they do, you will have a new found respect for JimmyBX. For all the hype Wheeler received, he under-impressed. That leaves for all sorts of excuse making and stat spinning.

    The Mets built this kid up as an ace. PLENTY of Met fans felt the same way. It wasn’t until Wheeler started getting his teeth kicked in in AAA that people started to chill out. His uninspiring, non-Ace performance this season at the big league level should have been enough of a warning.

    The COMICAL part here is Syndergaard and Montero are flying UNDER the radar for some unusual reason. Whatever is all I will say to that. Wheeler reminds me of Pelfrey with slightly better control and a better breaking ball. He’s more John Maine with the way he rocks back and slings the fastball up there. #3 starter at best. #4 if the Mets decide to keep both Montero and Noah.

  • JimmyBX

    Yes, but Maddux’s change up to lefties was ridiculous. He killed them with it. Reed and Gee fail greatly with that pitch against lefties. I was a HUGE Reed fan. That guy was a scab, took tons of abuse, and withstood it. He should have been an All-Star in 1997. And we got him for free.

  • JimmyBX

    That remains to be seen, unfortunately. That’s why the Mets are hexed in my eyes. There’s bad Karma surrounding the team. Most of the time pitchers don’t return to effectiveness because between the ears they’re afraid to “let loose” for fear of re-injury. Let’s hope Harvey is thick-skinned.

  • Connor O’Brien

    It’s not a comparison though it’s just using another player to make a point.

  • Taskmaster4450

    LOL.

    So you make fun of my username and call me names….does that make you a man? No it doesnt. The thing about internet bullies, along with all bullies, is that they are trying to compensate for extreme inferiority complexes. Sorry your mommy didnt give you enough love as a kid.

  • Just_Da_damaja

    Wright – good at 3B defensively
    The OF – good as well

    SS – Drew is adequate at best, and most likely now an injury risk with reports of the medical issues surfacing, i doubt we get him, if we went with TOVAR, I would feel better

    2B – Not sure if they are going to go with the guy who plays short RF ( Murphy ) or the guy who hasnt played 2B since 2009 ( Eric Young Jr ). The 2 best defensive options ( Flores and Tejada dont look to be considered

    1B – My guy, Ike, likely is gone. His replacement, Duda, likely to stay.

    C – Travis will be given every chance to prove himself offensively. If he hits 20 HR this year, the org wont care how many passed balls get by him, how many wild pitches go by him, how many “signals get crossed”, how many runners on 1B end up stealing 2B…..

    20 HR is a more marketable number than CS% or not allowing WP or PB…

    Its sad that this front office’s reputation is more tied to a certain select group of players they either signed, drafted or traded for than their actual won/loss record

  • Just_Da_damaja

    sure, historically, whenever mejia had a bad start, or hell even a bad inning, he was considered overrated.

    Oliver Wheeler? nope, lets be patient !